Open Access

If you have any questions about open access, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Free

Open Access is free, if you self-archive it on a repository (e.g. BORIS). This is called Open Access Grün. Make sure that your publishing contract clearly regulates this option. Send us a mail if you have questions.

Another cost-free path to Open Access is the so-called diamond way. Diamond OA Journals charge neither the authors nor the readers. See for example the journals on our publishing platform BOP Serials.

APCs and BPCs

Many scientific publishers charge publication fees for Open Access Gold, which is known as article processing charges (APCs) or book processing charges (BPCs). These charges vary greatly in amount, with Hybrid OA generally costing significantly more than Gold OA. Reputable Open Access journals are transparent about their APCs and communicate them clearly on their websites. For further information on evaluating journals, see this checklist.

What kind of funding is available to finance publication costs

Open Access Publication Fund

The University of Bern supports its researchers with an Open Access Fonds to cover APCs and BPCs:

  • APCs for articles in Open Access Gold: max. Fr 2,500.-
  • BPCs for books and book chapters in Open Access Gold: max. Fr 8'000.-

Read & Publish Deals

The University of Bern has signed Read & Publish agreements with a number of publishers. 

In most of the journals of these publishers, researchers of the University of Bern and the Insel can publish in Open Access without APCs.

Funders

  • The SNSF provides its recipients with grants to finance the open access publication of scientific publications (articles and books). However, the SNSF does not support hybrid OA. You can apply for funding directly at the SNF via ChronosHub. Further information including funding requirements can be found here.
  • H2020 ERC: The EU finances the open access publication of its recipients' scientific publications (articles and books), including hybrid OA. However, Open Access publication charges must come out of a project's dissemination costs.

Discount

The university library is part of a swiss consortium-agreement with MDPI, which guarantees all researchers at Bern University, the University of Teacher Education Bern and the Insel-Hopital a discount of 20% on Open Access publishing charges. Authors are recognized by their institutional email address and automatically notified of their eligibility for the discount.

You can find Open-Access-Journals that are most suited for your publication with the following tools and databases: 

Untrustworthy journals  are known as “predatory journals”. They provide an unsatisfactory service – or none at all – in return for publication fees. Such journals are usually easy to identify: their websites are full of spelling mistakes, they promise an unrealistic turn-around from submission to publication (including peer-review) and/or they aggressively try to attract submissions. However, some predatory journals are better at hiding their shady nature. For instance, their web presence may be flawless or they may give the name of a renowned scientist as the editor, even though the latter knows nothing about it.

Predatory journals checklist

Consult this checklist to help you evaluate (OA) journals.

Coffee lectures on predatory journals and conferences

If you and your colleagues would like to learn more - the Open Science Team offers Coffee Lectures on the topic. If you are interested, contact us at openscience@ub.unibe.ch.

Further information

Funding agencies and institutions often require free access to publications and research data.

SNSF

Research results from projects funded by the SNSF must be published Open Access.

  • Articles no later than six months after first publication.
  • Books and book contributions no later than twelve months after the first publication.

The Open Access obligation also applies to all other publications if at least 50% of the underlying research is SNSF-funded.

Detailed information on the SNF regulations can be found here.

Horizon2020

All Horizon2020 beneficiaries are obliged to make their peer-reviewed scientific publications available in Open Access. They are free to choose either the Green or the Gold route.

Publications in the STEM subjects must become available in Open Access no later than six months after publication; the deadline for the social sciences and humanities is 12 months. The EU offers an addendum to publishing contracts (see below), which enables authors to make their peer-reviewed articles available in Open Access green (as a post-print) within the maximum embargo.

Additionally, all funded projects are by default enrolled in the H2020 Open Data pilot project. In cases where data cannot be made openly available, it is possible to opt out partially or completely. Researchers will have to provide reasons for their decision.

Background information and a detailed explanation of the options and workflows can be found below in the PDF"H2020 ERC Open Access Compliance". There is also a PDF with a short summary. A decision tree on Open Access & Open Data rules and compliance is also available below.

The official EU rules and guidelines on "Open Access & Data Management" can be found here.

Horizon Europe und ERC Grants

Peer-reviewed publications which result from funded Horizon Europe projects must be available in open access.

  • immediately upon publication, a machine-readable, digital copy of the publisher-version or the final, peer-reviewed and accepted manuscript must be deposited and made available in a trustworthy repository for scholarly publications (for example: BORIS).
  • The publication has to be made available under the latest version of the Creative Commons Attribution International Public License (CC BY) or an equal license. Monographs  and other long-form texts can use more restrivtive licenses such as CC BY-NC or CC BY-ND.
  • Open access publishing costs are only paid for peer-reviewed publications which are published in pure open access publications (no hybrid OA)

This link will take you to the Model Grant Agreement which has further details about metadata, identifiers, etc.

Further information

Concerning solutions:

Concerning the SNSF:

The authors of academic and artistic works use Creative Commons licences to specify the legal conditions under which their works may be published, disseminated and used. The licenses are available in over 60 languages and are legally valid throughout the world. They feature a variety of icons which indicate the conditions that must be respected during re-use. They are therefore easy to understand, and users know exactly what they may use the works for – even if they do not have legal expertise.

CC licenses function as a modular system. The license conditions can be combined with each other, giving a choice of six different licenses in all. Depending on the combination, a liberal or restrictive use of the content may be permitted.

Funding agencies and universities recommend the use of the most open license, such as CC BY.

Do not sign over the exclusive and unlimited rights to your texts sto your publisher. Insist on a license that allows you to fulfill your obligation to your funder and your university. 

We are happy to assist you - feel free to get in touch before you sign your contract.

At the end of 2015, the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) commissioned swissuniversities and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) to devise a national strategy for Open Access publications. The Open Access Strategy envisions that all publicly funded publications will be freely accessible by 2024. 

Further information can be found here.

The University of Bern supports Open Access as described in the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities which it signed in 2007, and declares that Open Access is a strategic objective. The Open Access Policy is in line with the Open Access Guidelines of the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS), the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAGW); it does not interfere with the free choice of publication media or with academic freedom. The University has approved the following guidelines:

  1. The University of Bern requires its researchers to deposit a full version of all peer-reviewed and published academic work and the corresponding bibliographical information in the institutional repository of the University of Bern. This makes the academic work publicly available through Open Access, provided that there are no legal obstacles.
  2. The University of Bern encourages its researchers to publish their research results in Open Access journals, where appropriate journals exist.
  3. As of the 2014 reporting year, research evaluation and academic reports at the University of Bern are supported by the institutional repository of the University of Bern.

The University of Bern supports the implementation of these guidelines by operating an institutional repository which allows the University’s researchers to deposit their publications and the corresponding metadata.

Clarifications on practical implementation:

  • In relation to publishers, researchers retain the right to make their publications publicly accessible via the University of Bern repository – after the expiry of any applicable embargo period.
  • If this option is not available, the bibliographical information of the publications is deposited together with a full version of the text, which is protected from public access in the repository. 

In accordance with the LERU petition and the DORA initiative, Bern University Library supports alternative, non-profit Open Access initiatives.

Bern University Library currently supports the following initiatives:

Bern University Library is a member of:

If you know of an OA initiative that should be supported contact us.

Events

Upcoming events on the topic of Open Access can be found on our main page or under "Services".

General information  

  • Open-Access.net is a central resource for all things Open Access (OA). It covers a wide range of disciplines and caters to many target groups.

Finding open access content 

  • Base is a search enginge specialized in finding scholarly web-documents, particularly full texts in OA. The search enginge is maintained according to scientific standards and those set by the OA-community.  
  • CORE is a meta-search engine that aims at the searchability of all OA-materials from repositories and journals worldwide. Both metadata and content can also be accessed via an application programming interface (API).
  • Open Knowledge Maps is a non-commercial graphic explorer that offers a fast overview of any given research topic and shows central concepts and related discussions. It builds on the metadata from the search engines BASE and PubMed. 
  • Directory of Open Access Books is an international database for OA books in all disciplines. All works are peer-reviewed. DOAB features big publishing houses such as Springer, Taylor & Francis, or De Gruyter as well as smaller publishing houses and university presses.  
  • PubMedCetral is a full-text repository for medical, biomedical and other life-science research. 
  • DART Europe is a search portal to find European dissertations. The University of Bern's OA dissertations on BORISTheses are also indexed. 

Where and how can I publish in OA?  

  • Directory of Open Access Journals is a central index of OA-Journals in all disciplines. In order to get listed, journals undergo a very strict review process. This is an ideal entry-point to find a suitable OA-Journal. Try the "Browse Subjects" function! 
  • Sherpa/Romeo is an aggregator collecting and analyzing OA information of journal publishers worldwide. The information is then published for each journal in a short summary that tells users everything they need to know about embargo periods, licenses and self-archiving options of any given journal.
  • ThinkCheckSubmit helps researchers find trustworthy journals and decide what to do about predatory publishers. The website offers checklists and other instruments. 

Browser extensions for quick OA Access  

These extensions indicate whether an article a user is viewing online is available in OA: OA Button and Unpaywall for Chrome und Firefox, Open Access Helper for Safarii.